They have hosted India and New Zealand so far but are yet to win a T20I series under new coach Heinrich Malan, who will be known to the South Africans. Malan played some provincial cricket with Northerns before moving to New Zealand where he coached for almost a decade and then moved to Ireland. Though his team pushed their opponents to their limits, victory is still elusive.
Ireland LLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
South Africa WWLLL
Ireland (possibly): 1 Paul Stirling, 2 Andy Balbirnie (capt), 3 Lorcan Tucker, 4 Harry Tector, 5 Gareth Delany, 6 George Dockrell, 7 Curtis Campher, 8 Mark Adair, 9 Barry McCarthy, 10 Graham Hume, 11 Josh Little
South Africa (possibly): 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 Reeza Hendricks, 3 Rilee Rossouw, 4 Aiden Markram 5 Tristan Stubbs, 6 David Miller (capt), 7 Andile Phehlukwayo, 8 Keshav Maharaj, 9 Anrich Nortje/Marco Jansen, 10 Lungi Ngidi, 11 Tabraiz Shamsi
With short straight boundaries and fairly short square ones, Bristol is a field where bowlers, and especially spinners, are pressured. England had their second-highest T20I score there last week, with over 400 runs being scored in their game against South Africa. Tabraiz Shamsi and Moeen Ali were the specialist bowlers who conceded the most runs and it will be interesting to see how Shamsi, who finished the series in England as the leading wicket taker, returns to this venue. For the big hitters, this is a place to show their strength and the likes of Tristan Stubbs and Paul Stirling will be looking for big statements. There will be some drizzle on Wednesday morning, but the forecast is dry for both games.
“We’ve shown that when we come up against these teams, we are able to challenge them, and it feels that way within the group. The belief is that we can beat these big teams, not getting nervous about every team we play in. We go out and want to win, we expect to win, and I think it’s been a little disappointing there this summer because we’ve come so close so many times. The flip side of that is that we know we’re not that far away, and we know we have better cricket in us too, and that’s what’s so exciting.”
Ireland’s Harry Tector
“It will certainly be a new exciting challenge for us. We played them in Ireland quite recently and we saw exactly what they could do. They improve series by series, we saw them against India, and they are a team you can do” don’t take it for granted.”
South Africa’s Aiden Markram